Category Archives: Family History

Newspapers for history research

Ryerson Index –

The Ryerson Index
Index to death notices appearing in current Australian newspapers. It also includes some funeral notices, probate notices and obituaries.

Australia Historic Newspapers 1803 – 1954
The Australian Newspapers service allows access to historic Australian newspapers digitised as part of the Australian Newspapers Digitisation Program. A great source for family historians. Includes the Sydney Gazette 1803 – 1842.

Sydney Gazette

The Sydney Morning Herald and The Sun-Herald 1955-1990
can now be accessed online. All articles, captions, classifieds and advertisements are fully keyword searchable and results are returned in an exact digital reproduction of the actual printed pages as they were originally published. The archive can be searched for free with full article results available on a time-based subscription. The archive may be accessed at

The Shoalhaven City Library Newspaper Index
A selection of articles  – Council affairs, building, environmental issues, local identities, organisations and social issues. The articles are available in print or on microfilm at the Local Studies section of the Shoalhaven City Library.

I Can’t Find a Death certificate?

A death certificate will show name, age at death, place and cause of death, parents, name and relationship of informant, when and where buried, witnesses at funeral, was the person born in colonies or how long they had been in the colony. Also where married and to whom, age at time of marriage, the names and ages of living children and the number of dead children. One using the index for BDM’s one obtains a reference No. for the certificate, applies and then waits for the postman.

When you can not find a record for the death of your ancestors all is not lost.
An excellent source for death details are available from cemetery records. Cemeteries are also a valuable source of information for the local historian. Information from headstones can include:-

  • Name of person
  • Date of death
  • Age of death
  • Year of Birth
  • Place of birth
  • Occupation
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Spouses name
  • Parents names
  • Children names and other information

In many cemeteries, family members are buried together, so always check records or transcriptions for other family members. Many Family History Groups or Genealogical Societies have cemetery records and photographs relating to their area. An dont forget to check your local library.

Australian Cemeteries online
Comprehensive list by individual states, mailing list support, transcriptions and lookups

The Ryerson Index: Contemporary Death Notices and Obituaries in Australian Newspapers

Old Burial Ground Sydney George St (Sydney Town Hall site)

Deaths 1788 – 1810 NSW & Norfolk Island

Find out if your ancestor left a will.
Never underestimate the value of wills and probate in your family history research genealogy research

The NSW Supreme Court index is available on mircofiche 1788 – 1985, it will give the place of residence and date of death. The mircofiche is available at many family history groups and some libraries. Always search up to 10 years after the possible death year for an entry.

Also check out the Deceased Estate file at the NSW State Records

Index to Wills, Probate and Administration Records 1841-1925 Victoria

Type of Records to use in research